Mon 22 Apr 2013 to Sun 28 Apr 2013

by Bombino

"The themes of Love, Power, Freedom, Cultural Preservation, Inner Strength and Unity flow consistently through Bombino's second international solo album “Nomad”, released on April 2nd 2013 on Nonesuch Records.

He was born Omara Moctar on January 1st 1980 in Agadez Niger. For centuries, his home town has served as a converging point for the great camel caravans driven by the Tuareg that link West Africa with North Africa and the Mediterranean. The Tuareg have been fiercely independent for centuries and the desert represents their freedom and music as their power.

A fusion of Blues, Rock and World sounds, the album is the first collaboration of Nigerian Omara “Bombino” Moctar and American Daniel Quine “Dan” Auerbach (The Black Keys) and the album cover (produced by Jim McGuire consisting of a motorcycle rider flying across a barren desert with scarf trailing) is an appropriate symbol of this collaboration. Freedom in the desert and journey, Power in the music and engine.

This album was produced by Dan Auerbach who started production in June 2012. Bombino and his band accepted Dan's invitation to record at Auerbach's Silver Eye Sound studio in Nashville. The collaboration has earned the album top spot on the Billboard World Music album chart during it's first week of release.

His nickname “Bombino” is dervied from the Italian word for “little child”) as he was the youngest and smallest member of renowed Tuareg guitarist Haja Bebe's band. He first heard the guitar at age 13 during the first rebellion in 1992-1993. He has had to relocated between Niger, Algeria and Libya due to the 1990 and 2007 Tuareg Rebellions. While living in Algeria and Libya during his teen years, he studied with his friends video of guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler.

Picking up the guitar was considered an act of rebellion by the Niger government and he was forced to exile to Burkina Faso after two of his fellow musicians were executed. While living in exile, he was discovered by film maker/producer Ron Wyman in February 2009 during a documentary shoot about the Tuareg people. Wyman produced Bombino's first solo album “Agadez”, which was released in April 2011.

Bombino has played many roles in his life - guitarist, singer, songwriter, collaborator, activist, refugee, hero, rebel, herder, band member. His life experience combined with his influences from Tuareg band Tinariwen and Ali Farka Touré, Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Santana, Mark Knopfler and Jimmy Page has produced a sound which is described as “desert blues” and the “soulful sound of the Sahara's young generation”.

The album contains shades of Santana's 1972 album “Caravanserai” (which I bought on a recent nomadic, second hand record shopping experience), Ry Cooder's 1988 album “Paris, Texas” and the 2001 soundtrack album “Y Tu Mamá También”. Listening to Bombino has inspired me to continue my nomadic trip collecting and discovering similar soundtracks.

Bombino is currently touring Europe in April and will tour the USA in May plus perform at major North American festivals during their summer including the 2013 Luminato Festival in Toronto alongside Amadou & Mariam, Laurie Anderson and Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Honest, rythmic, tribal, rich, positive, and soothing, “Nomad” is a great companion for the inner nomad of all of us. Let's hope his nomadic spirit flows to Australian mainland in 2014!

Bombino : The Story of “Nomad” (Directed by Ron Wyman) -

by Sasha - PBS Music Library volunteer

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